Arkansas Beef Month and Arkansas Egg Month
The beef and egg industries provide an immense value to Arkansas agriculture with beef and egg products consistently ranking in Arkansas's top eight agricultural commodities in cash receipts, with a combined value of over $1.2 billion.

Join the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, Governor Sanders, and industry partners at an event recognizing these industries and the dedicated producers who work hard to meet rigorous standards of quality and safety. The event will be held on May 18, starting at 11 a.m., at 1 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas. RSVP for the event here.
Forest Landowner Best Management Practices Training to be Held at Poison Springs State Forest
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division is partnering with the Arkansas Forestry Association to host a Best Management Practices (BMPs) training at Poison Springs State Forest in Camden, Arkansas. The training will be Saturday, May 20 at 9:30 a.m. with lunch provided.
BMPs are techniques used to protect water quality while conducting forest management activities. In Arkansas, BMPs are voluntary guidelines for forest landowners and are not regulated by the government. However, according to State Forester Joe Fox, the acceptance and implementation of BMPs are vital in keeping the practices voluntary and beneficial for water quality.
“Private forest landowners in Arkansas have a great track record of installing voluntary BMPs,” Fox said. “Their participation has been key to avoiding regulation. BMPs trainings, such as this one, provide tools and knowledge that helps our landowners and loggers continue to be good stewards of our great state.”
The training will provide an overview of Arkansas BMPs with accompanying on-site field demonstrations and will be led by Poison Springs State Forest Manger Aaron Williams and Arkansas BMPs Coordinator John Beasley. A full agenda can be found here. For more information, contact Aaron Williams at  
Second Public Meeting for Illinois River Watershed Management Plan Re-Scheduled for May 18
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division (NRD), in partnership with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC), has re-scheduled the second in a series of public meetings to update the watershed-based management plan for the Illinois River Watershed. The original meeting in January was postponed due to inclement weather. The meeting will be held May 18, 2023, in West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma.
The Illinois River and its tributaries have a variety of uses set forth by the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APCEC), including fisheries, recreation, drinking water supply, and agricultural and industrial water supply. The goal of this watershed-based plan is to protect and improve water quality in streams and other waterbodies by addressing non-regulatory issues through voluntary activities or practices.
“The NRD and the OCC held the first stakeholder meeting back in October 2022 and had over 60 attendees,” said Tate Wentz, NRD Water Quality Section Manager. “The second and third meetings will be focused on conservation practice implementation. We will also be requesting input from landowners about those practices so it is critical for anyone interested to attend as it will help guide resource allocations to improve water quality into the future.”
The meeting is open to the public and will provide an overview of the watershed management planning process. Stakeholders will discuss water quality issues, conservation practices, the current state of the watershed, and the next steps in the development of the management plan.
The meeting is set for May 18, 2023, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will be held at the Cherokee Casino and Hotel located at 2416 US-412, West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma 74338.
Visit here for more information about the Illinois River Watershed. For more information about the meeting, contact Tate Wentz at
Arkansas Department of Agriculture Releases 2022 Groundwater Protection and Management Report
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division (NRD) has released the 2022 Arkansas Groundwater Protection and Management Report. This report provides a summary of the groundwater monitoring efforts, current water levels, NRD protection and conservation programs, and water use reporting during the 2022 calendar year.

This report focuses exclusively on the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial and Sparta aquifers. Based on estimated water use, pumping rates continue to exceed generalized sustainable yield estimates in both aquifers. As a result, water-level declines have been observed and are expected to continue in certain areas of the state. The state’s groundwater systems will continue to be observed by the Department and its partners. Find the full report here.

“The Groundwater Protection and Management Report plays an essential role in monitoring one of Arkansas’s most important resources—groundwater,” said NRD Director Chris Colclasure. “In partnership with other government agencies, conservation districts, organizations, groups, and citizens, the NRD will continue to promote conservation and the conjunctive use of ground and surface water at rates that are sustainable for current and future generations of Arkansans.”

This year, the NRD developed an interactive story map version of the Groundwater Protection and Management Report that allows the user to look at the maps in greater detail. The map can be found here.

Visit here for more information on the Groundwater Protection and Management Program. For questions regarding the 2022 Arkansas Groundwater Protection and Management Report, contact Corbin Cannon at
2023 County Farm Families of the Year Announced
The 76th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program has announced its 2023 County Farm Families of the Year. The families will be visited by a set of judges to determine eight District Farm Families of the Year, which will be announced June 13. The state Farm Family of the Year will be announced in December at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon and will represent Arkansas at the Southeastern Expo Farmer of the Year event in Georgia. Arkansas has had two Southeast Farmer of the Year winners, Brian and Nan Kirksey of Clark County in 2008 and Wildy Family Farms of Mississippi County in 2016.

Sponsors of the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year program are Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, and the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. Additionally, support for the program is provided by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, Arkansas Department of Career Education, Arkansas Press Association, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, and the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development.

Find a county-by-county list of winning families here.
Feral Hogs Invading Metropolitan Areas of Arkansas
In a story published by THV11 on May 1, Skot Covert joined J.P. Fairhead, Feral Hog Program Coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, as well as farmers and landowners in Arkansas County to witness feral hog damage first hand and discuss the purpose of the Arkansas Feral Hog Eradication Task Force. View the full story here. Learn more about the Arkansas Feral Hog Eradication Task Force here.
Arkansas Century Farm Program Accepting Applications Until May 31
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2023 Arkansas Century Farm Program. This program recognizes Arkansas families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. Online and printable applications are available here. There is no cost to apply.

To qualify, Arkansas farms must meet the following criteria:

  • The same family must have owned the farm for 100 years by December 31, 2023. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage and adoption.
  • The farm must be at least ten acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income.

Contact Beth Moore at 501-539-4027 or with questions. Applications must be received via email or postmarked on or before May 31, 2023, to be eligible for designation as a 2023 inductee.
New Resource for Arkansans on
On April 26, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) launched expanded state pages on The new pages feature additional state-level maps, links to state resources, improved usability and map features, and a new drought overview section. Learn more about the expanded state pages here. View Arkansas's state page on here.
2023 Arkansas Grown Magazine
The Poultry Federation (Federation) is on a mission to support youth programs across the state. Every summer the Federation hosts the annual poultry festival, a tradition that spans more than six decades. The festival takes place over two days and is an event that brings together upwards of 5,000 industry partners, families, and friends.

Read more about the summer tradition that supports Arkansas 4-H in the 2023 edition of Arkansas Grown. You can view the magazine online here, or find a physical copy at various locations around the state! With more than 25 features about Arkansas agriculture, there's something for everyone.
Photo Features
Shay Hoog, Forest Legacy Coordinator for the Forestry Division, and Jeremy Jones, County Ranger for the Forestry Division, assisting a landowner in Cross County.
On May 2, State Forester Joe Fox spoke at the 2023 Spring Foresters Workshop at the Vines 4-H Center in Ferndale, Arkansas.
Origami Sake, handcrafted in Hot Springs with Arkansas rice grown and milled in Lonoke County, will be on retailers' shelves soon! The Arkansas Department of Agriculture joined industry partners, and Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders staff for a tour of the new sake rice milling facility in England, Arkansas.
On April 25, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward spoke at the 96th Annual Arkansas FFA Convention and Expo in Hot Springs.
Photo credit: Arkansas FFA
On April 24, students from the Arkansas State University (ASU)-Beebe, Veterinary Technician Program toured the Arkansas Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. Students get the chance to tour the lab every April as part of their curriculum. To learn more about the ASU-Beebe Veterinary Technician Program and how it provides support to the agriculture industry, read the 2022 Arkansas Grown story here.
The Arkansas Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program visited "Fun on the Farm" at Arnold Family Farms in Alma, Arkansas. This event is a collaborative effort between the Arnold Family, Crawford County Extension Office, and other partners who work hard to create an immersive three-day event where students from local schools can learn about agriculture.
During the last week of April, Forestry Division staff was at Drew Central Elementary School in Monticello, Arkansas planting trees for the Shade Trees on Playgrounds Program.
On May 2, Leah Johannes, program fiscal manager, and Amy Theriac, program outreach coordinator, represented the Natural Resources Division at the Arkansas Water Works and Water Environment Association Annual Conference in Hot Springs.
New Resources, Trainings, & Opportunities
Arkansas Cattlemen's Association Scholarship Opportunities
The Arkansas Cattlemen's Association is partnering with the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas, Arkansas Cattlewomen's Foundation, and Safe Money Advisors to award scholarships to deserving students in the agriculture industry. Deadlines and requirements vary by scholarship. Find more information and download applications here.
Participate in the 2022 Costs and Trends of Southern Forestry Practices Survey
If you own forestland in southern states (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, MO, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA), you can help improve the information available for forest landowners by participating in the 2022 Costs and Trends of Southern Forestry Practices Survey. This survey has been conducted for nearly 70 years. In recent years, a partnership with the Forest Landowner Foundation, the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment at Auburn University, and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System has provided the opportunity to enhance and continue this long-standing and beneficial survey. Insights from this survey provide long-term trends in silvicultural practices across the southern United States and the costs of managing forest and timberland. The survey will close on May 14 and takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. Take the survey here.
"Plan. Produce. Profit." Workshops in Arkansas
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Law Center are facilitating a series of workshops called "Plan. Produce. Profit." Workshop participants will learn how to operate under the Arkansas Food Freedom Act for selling homemade food items to the public. Attendees will be eligible to receive a free pH meter for producing food products. Funding for these workshops is provided by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture through the United States Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Learn more and register here. For more information, contact Rusty Rumley at
2023 Produce Safety Grower Training
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service Local, Regional, and Safe Foods is hosting a two-day remote produce safety grower training on May 24 and 25. The training will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day via Zoom. Registration is $25 for Arkansas residents and $100 for out of state participants. The deadline to register for the training is May 17. Visit here to register. For more information, please contact Gaby Sanders at
Applications Open for Veggie to Value: A Food Entrepreneuer Bootcamp Program
Do you have a vegetable-based value-added food business idea or need help getting started in a commercial kitchen? The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service Local, Regional, and Safe Foods will host a bootcamp program for food entrepreneurs this summer. Applications will be accepted through May 30 and there is no cost to apply. Individuals, or existing businesses, located in Central Arkansas who are interested in creating a vegetable-based value-added product in a commercial kitchen are eligible to apply. Applicants must also be able to:

  • Dedicate 1-2 hours a week for technical assistance calls/videos to develop a recipe.
  • Dedicate 2-3 days at the Share Grounds kitchen in Rison, Arkansas to develop a product.
  • Provide reliable transportation for self and products.

Interested individuals can apply for the program here. For more information, please contact Dr. Amanda Philyaw Perez at
Registration for the 2023 Arkansas Grazing Conference Open
Registration for the 2023 Arkansas Grazing Conference is now open! Mark your calendars to attend the state's most anticipated grazing event hosted by the Arkansas Grazing Lands Coalition (AGLC) on Saturday, May 20 at The Vines Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale near Little Rock. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from and interact with some of the state's top experts in grazing systems and forage management. Registration is $40, or sign up to be an AGLC member for $35 and receive a complimentary conference registration. Doors open at 8 a.m. and lunch is provided. Interested individuals can register here.
The Wallace Center Extends Deadline for EPA Historically Underserved Farmers Subaward Program
The Wallace Center's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Historically Underserved Farmers Subaward Program is a competitive subaward program for the Mississippi River Region that aims to address the diverse needs of historically underserved farming communities, center networking and co-learning among sub awardees, and resource underserved farmers as conservation leaders. The Wallace Center has extended the due date for concept note submissions to May 15 at 11:59 p.m. CT. The deadline to submit questions via email has also been extended to May 8 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

The Wallace Center held pre-application webinars on March 22, April 5, and April 11. The information provided in the webinar slides can be found here.

Find more information here, and contact with any additional questions.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture's
Annual Report

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report provides information about the Department and how it served Arkansas agriculture, our state's largest industry, from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Click here to view the 2022 Annual Report.
USDA Updates
Census of Agriculture Responses Accepted Through the Spring
The Census of Agriculture allows producers to tell the story of agriculture in the United States and it’s not too late to respond. Since data collection began last fall, over a million ag census recipients across the country have returned their questionnaires, but many have yet to respond. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will continue to collect completed 2022 ag census forms through the spring to ensure all producers have the chance to be represented in widely used census data. Producers can respond online here or by mail. 
USDA Offers Disaster Assistance to Farmers in Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin Impacted by Recent Storms and Tornados
Agricultural operations in Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin have been significantly impacted by recent tornadoes and severe storms that caused widespread and extensive destruction across those states. USDA has technical and financial assistance available to help farmers and livestock producers recover in the wake of these disasters. Impacted producers should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses and learn more about programs that may be available to assist in their recovery from crop, land, infrastructure, and livestock losses and damages. Read the full release from the USDA here.
USDA to Host Mental Health Awareness Month Workshop Series
The USDA will host a Mental Health Awareness Month Workshop Series starting May 9. The workshop series convenes farmers and ranchers, faith leaders, rural health providers, USDA employees, and partners to dialogue and discuss mental health challenges; stressors; and the resources and services available to address them. Register and find a breakdown of the series and the topics that will be covered here.
USDA-NRCS Accepting Applications for Conjunctive Water Use Protects Mid-South Aquifers Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Farmers or landowners in the Conjunctive Water Use Protects Mid-South Aquifers Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project area in Arkansas can apply to receive financial assistance in fiscal year 2023. Farmers and landowners in Arkansas who submit applications to their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office by May 26 will be considered for this assistance. Eligible Arkansas counties include Ashley, Chicot, Desha, and Drew. This project is supported by the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Stewardship Partnership. For more information, visit here or contact your local USDA-NRCS Field Service Center.
Farm Service Agency Southeast Arkansas Outreach Meetings
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Southeast Arkansas office is hosting free, virtual informational sessions to educate producers and agriculture businesses on available programs and loans and share vital information such as program deadlines and eligibility. The first session was held on Thursday, March 30. The following sessions will take place in the coming months, and are free to attend virtually.

  • FSA Program Updates and Beginning Farmer Information, May 25 from 10 to 11 a.m.
  • Speaker: Dr. Henry English, Head of Small Farm Programs at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff School of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Human Science
  • County Committee Election Overview, July 27 from 10 to 11 a.m.
  • Speaker: Doris Washington, State Executive Director for the FSA

Interested individuals should call their local FSA office to receive the meeting link. Contact information for your local FSA office can be found here.
SUSTA Updates
The Southern U.S. Trade Association (SUSTA) is a non-profit organization that facilitates trade between small to medium-sized southern U.S. companies and overseas importers. Since 1973, SUSTA has worked with Departments of Agriculture to increase the export of southern U.S. food and agricultural products and enhance the economic well-being of the region.
Export Readiness Training
SUSTA's Export Readiness Training provides agribusinesses the tools to create a successful international marketing strategy. During training, participants will assess their capacity for exporting, identify key foreign markets, and learn practical export fundamentals so they can confidently export their products.

There is a $150 participation fee which includes the following modules to be conducted via Zoom (8:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. CST):

  • May 10: Developing Export Readiness Skills
  • May 17: Expert Tools of the Trade
  • May 24: Getting Products to Global Customers
Weekly Market Summary

Each Friday, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture publishes a comprehensive Weekly Market Summary, which includes the Arkansas Weekly Livestock Auction Summary and Related Individual Market Sale Summaries, National Weekly Rice Summary, Memphis Weekly Feed Report, Weekly Rice, Grain, Cotton, and Feed Futures Trends, Weekly Livestock and Milk Futures Trends, Bid Prices to Farmers, Arkansas Daily Grain Report, Heading Links for Historical Data, and news.

The summary is available on the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Market Reports webpage, as well as each Division's webpage and Facebook page, and you may sign-up to receive the summary by email at Subscribe To Notifications And Publications.
Follow us on social media!

For the latest in Arkansas agriculture, be sure to follow us on social media! Links to our social media pages can be found here.
Arkansas Ag Facts: Arkansas Egg Month
  • May was proclaimed by Governor Sanders as Arkansas Egg Month!
  • Egg production ranks among Arkansas's top five agricultural commodities in cash receipts and is valued at $693 million annually.
  • Arkansas produces more than 4.15 billion shell eggs annually and ranks eighth in the nation for egg production and first in the nation for egg exports.
  • Arkansas has seven egg processing facilities in Central and Northwest Arkansas committed to providing premium eggs and egg products.
  • The Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Livestock and Poultry Division has 15 shell egg inspectors that provide more than 14,000 man-hours each year to ensure the highest egg quality standards are met at egg processing facilities, restaurants, farmers markets, retail stores, and other points of sale.
  • Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein and other nutrients for children and adults including vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin, and selenium.
Upcoming Agriculture Events
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